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RIGHT TO INTERNET: FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT

Author: Bhavana Ladha, IV year of B.A.,LL.B.(Hons.) from Jaipur National University , Jaipur (Rajasthan)


In this period of the pandemic, Internet access is essential for advanced educational goals in life. Online classes and webinars of students are dependent on the Internet. Good Internet access and Information diffusion lead to the empowerment of human beings. Article 19 (1) of the constitution of India deals with the speech and expression of India. Internet was invented in 1983 on January 1.


Living in the 20th Century we are very much dependent upon access to the internet. A day without access to the internet is like waking up to something right of the Walking Dead, as people search for answers in a world gone mad. The Internet is the best way to learn and make things easier. The Internet is the best tool by which all the important information and knowledge is being transferred in a fast-moving world.


Nowadays people don’t have much time to circulate information easily but by access to the Internet, it has become very easy and faster. Some people might not agree that we can’t live without these services but the blatant truth is that Yes, we all have become dependent upon the Internet to use something simple to make our work easier and faster and to be done at a double speed. Now with the increasing heights of technology, the question arises whether the right to the internet should be considered a human right or not?


In the famous case Faheema Shirin v State of Kerala [1] it was held that right to internet access was recognised as a fundamental right forming a part of right to privacy and right to education under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Kerala was the first State to declare access to the Internet as a basic human right.


Kerala being the most literate state of India, the state government is undertaking a project where they have decided to contribute access to the Internet to over 20 lakh poor families. All the other state governments should get inspired by the initiative taken by the State Government of Kerala.


Finally, in the year 2020, the Internet was considered as a basic fundamental right all over India except for certain conditions explicitly mentioned under the Indian Constitution. The right to Internet access is also known as the right to broadband and was made with a view so that every citizen can exercise their rights to freedom of expression and opinion.


In PUCL V Union of India [2], the Supreme Court had observed that Right to freedom of speech and expression is guaranteed under Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution. The Internet aids the citizens to express their opinions on a global platform and therefore is covered under the ambit of Article 19(1) (a) of the constitution of India.


Aniruddha Bhasin v Union of India [3] the court held that the Right to Internet Access, also known as The Right to Broadband or Freedom to connect. This case held that suspended Internet broadband connections are temporarily permissible but permanently shut down is an abuse of power. Right to Internet Access is an integral part of Article 21 of the constitution of India. Article 21 A of the constitution of India states the Right to education but It deals with the Right to Internet Access.


The right of freedom to choose trade and profession over the Internet enjoys constitutional protection under Article 19 (1) of the constitution of India.

Maneka Gandhi v Union of India [4] The case held that every human being has the right to personal liberty under Article 21 of the constitution of India. Any competent authority of government cannot be curtailed the Right to Personal liberty of Any Individual Citizen of India except in cases of public order emergency.


Maneka Gandhi is a Registered by the birth citizen of India who has the willingness to travel abroad but an Order issued by government authority for not the issuance of Passport to travel abroad in case of public order is unconstitutional and violates Article 21 of the constitution which deals with personal liberty. Because traveling abroad in my own will is related to personal liberty. No question arises of public order.


Conclusion

Internet Access is essential in our daily life because it is the source of Information diffusion and plays a vital role in the development of our life. The golden triangle of the constitution of India includes the Right to life and personal liberty, the Right to Freedom of speech and expression, and the Right to Equality before the law under Article 21, 19, and 14 of the constitution of India Respectively but one section of society easily accesses to the Internet and other section of society unable to access the Internet then such situation leads to digital inequality and causes unable to use of freedom of expression. Such circumstances Violate provisions of Article 21, 19, and 14 of the constitution of India.


REFERENCES

1. Faheema Shirin v State of Kerela WP(C) No.19716 OF 2019(L)

2. PUCL V Union of India AIR 1997 SC 568

3. Aniruddha Bhasin v Union of India Writ Petition No. 1030/2020

4.Maneka Gandhi v Union of India 1978 SCR (2) 621